‘Days of Our Lives’ Week In Review: Disappearing Acts

Photo Credit: © XJ Johnson/JPI Studios

Days of Our Lives had a great week this last week! After taking time away from vacation, I was happy to come back to the show to find it enjoyable all throughout – even the parts with characters I didn’t like! Every part of the town of Salem seemed to be moving at a well-oiled pace. Everyone had something to do, some place to be and a purpose behind it which is what always makes a soap’s stories enjoyable. We even got to see a holiday celebrated in classic crazy DAYS fashion with disappearing acts and reveals galore! All in all, I enjoyed my return to Salem, USA so let’s get into some of my favorite highlights of the last week!

Week in Review for Days of Our Lives episodes airing October 24th – 28th.

Testosterone Overload

There’s just something about the Kiriakis men scenes that rub me the wrong way. This last week, Victor Kiriakis decided it was time for him to retire from his Titan empire so he wrangled together all of his male family members into one room for a meeting. It was time to choose the mogul’s successor so he could spend more time with his lovely wife, Maggie Kiriakis.

© XJ Johnson/JPI Studios

© XJ Johnson/JPI Studios

Now, I always do my best to be impartial and leave personal feelings aside but – there really was not a single character in that room that I liked. If Orpheus had decided to set off another bomb in the Kiriakis living room, then I would have just shrugged and kept it moving – though I would have mourned Justin Kiriakis, he’s too good for the rest of them. To me, the collection of Kiriakis men encompasses a lot of what’s wrong about DAYS and that’s this overbearing, arrogant machismo that runs deep in that family thanks to Victor and it’s incredibly apparent in the scenes they share together. The host of them couldn’t even wait for Victor to make the announcement before bickering, trying to size each other up constantly like some kind of testosterone battle.

The hilarity ensued when Victor deemed Deimos Kiriakos to helm Titan in his place, the man involved in the death of his son and who poisoned his wife. But let bygones be bygones right? I was happy to see Phillip Kiriakis be the one to stand out to protest the decision, arguing extremely valid points about Victor never once offering even an ounce of the same forgiveness that he’d given Deimos. Victor believed that for the future of Titan, it’d be best that Deimos was the head but how much business experience can a man who has spent three decades in prison really have? Phillip has been working side by side with his father since he was able to, learning the ins and outs of the family business but getting coerced into Deimos’ revenge plan had him barred from the family? Phillip questioned that logic right after Victor made the excuse that Deimos too was coerced into helping with Bo Brady’s capture. So why the double standard?

Phillip eventually signed on to the agreement, giving him his own division to lead at the company but I don’t think his heart is all the way in it. On the one hand it was pleasant to see Victor actually apologize to his son for the way he treated him but I would not blame Phillip if he wanted to pull an inside job to dismantle Deimos’ reign as Titan CEO. Even so, the boys’ club atmosphere of this storyline is so off-putting but there really aren’t really any female Kiriakises to throw into the mix to make it interesting.

Had Ciara Brady been SORASed correctly, utilizing the spunky personality she had as a kid, imagine how fun it would be for her to try and stake her claim in Titan. Or even her with big sister Chelsea Brady as a tag team duo? Victor was as fond as Bo’s daughters as he was of Bo, so rightfully they should have some say in what goes on in the company. Instead they got trust funds.

Love Doctor

Only a few weeks ago, I successfully predicted that Valerie Grant would show up in Salem as a specialist surgeon for Abe Carver. And this last week, how did she make her return? I was surprised to find that my prediction played out exactly the same on television – and then I was surprised that I was surprised when DAYS’ character introductions haven’t been very creative as of late. Especially for doctors. People can just move back to town, y’know? Even though every cliché was there in Valerie’s introduction, this was the first one to feel right in execution; Valerie’s return immediately clicked with many viewers, including myself.

Clyde Weston’s shot had done some major damage on Abe. Though the bullet had long since been removed, there were still fragments in the mayor’s body that could shift toward vital organs if not taken out quickly enough. The scene revealing Valerie to Abe was some kind of adorable, especially when Kayla Brady knowingly mentioned that the surgeon volunteered herself especially after hearing who the patient would be. And though she has a different face from 30 years ago (and a few years shaved off too), Vanessa A. Williams’ and James Reynolds’ Abe and Valerie had an immediate connection. There weren’t sparks that went off in the hospital room, but this nice slow warm glow like something from a fireplace – or those fireplace screensavers. The writing was streamlined and to the point since they couldn’t make use of flashbacks, Abe and Valerie caught up through words but none of it felt like it had dragged on. I actually found myself smiling watching this scene.

From the get go, Theo Carver seemed suspect of this new doctor in town. It must be difficult to not only be helpless watching your only living parent in a hospital bed, but to have this stranger come to his rescue who seems to know it all probably felt like an invasion to Theo. You can’t really blame him. Valerie went ahead with Abe’s surgery which ended in success until his heart momentarily stopped, leading the team of doctors to find that not only had Abe not had a physical in a number of years but that he’d been ignoring a heart condition. For his wellbeing, they’d have to open him up again to work on his heart. Theo was not having any of it! To him, it was Valerie’s responsibility to make sure his father came out of surgery okay so when he flatlined, it was her fault.

So many times we’ve had kids on DAYS raging at their parents’ lovers for thin almost laughable reasons, and while Theo is wrong, I can see where he’s coming from. For so long now it’s just been him and his father, then he got a new sister and now his dad’s ex is trying to come back into the picture when he’s hurt and vulnerable? Theo’s autism keeps him from accepting normal life changes very easily but he’s in an extreme situation right now and is validated in voicing his concerns. Valerie felt the same way too. Talking with Abe, she told the mayor of Salem to not put the blame on his son’s autism for his fiery feelings. She saw the truth was that Theo just didn’t like her and fiercely loved his father, and that was okay. She could handle herself. I think I might have swooned multiple times during those scenes, especially when Abe promised to take Valerie on a reintroduction tour of Salem once discharged. It seemed like Valerie was just the medicine Abe needed to get better.

Seeing DAYS put African-American characters in the forefront is a big part of what has me excited about this storyline, I’ll admit it. But there’s no denying that Kyler Pettis’ Theo has grown to become a great character with some of the most natural writing on the show. James Reynolds has always been astounding, every DAYS viewers can attest to that too. But who thought that sticking Vanessa A. Williams into that mix would turn this growing dynamic into something even more compelling? I’d saved reservations until she showed up at Salem University Hospital and found myself pleasantly surprised. There’s a lot of potential story that could reignite the waning emotional core of DAYS; distrust, anxiety, romance and so much more could be brought to the table. Let’s just pray that DAYS actually follows through.

Coryon Gray
Coryon Gray joined TV Source Magazine as a staff writer in October 2014. Prior to TV Source Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs and forums. On top of writing duties, Coryon is also a panelist for the TV Source Podcast, Soap Countdown Podcast and Our Take Media.

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